Local News


CONTACT 13: VA makes new rule for veterans exposed at Camp Lejeune

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 21:48:41-05
For decades thousands of Marines were exposed to a killer enemy right here at home -- dangerous chemicals in their water supply. 
A Contact 13 Investigation looked into what was poisoning our protectors. We now have some good news for those veterans.
The VA says it will now be easier for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to get the health care they need for a variety of serious medical conditions.
Every sip of water.  Every shower.  Even a simple hand wash.  All were toxic at Camp Lejeune.  The water supply was tainted by chemicals from a nearby dry cleaner and storage tanks that leaked industrial solvents. 
Contact 13 learned how devastating exposure to that water is to veterans and their families'. 
"It had burned my eyes and it was causing, my lungs, I was having trouble breathing," Stanley Furrow told us. "It would burn."
Contact 13 met the Furrow family in 2015.  From tumors to thyroid disease to skin problems, Furrow has suffered nearly non-stop since being stationed at Camp Lejeune.  His wife, who lived there with him, had multiple miscarriages and a stillborn baby.
Their son was born with a deformity to his left arm. The family battled the VA for benefits for years, fighting to prove that their health conditions were caused by the tainted water.
But that burden of proof has finally been removed. The VA is making a new rule that presumes a service connection for diseases associated with Camp Lejeune's water including adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Parkinson's disease.
The VA says the rule should take effect in abuot two months.